C's Read to Otis Elementary School Students

Keith Bogans, Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani read a bilingual book to Otis Elementary School students.

BOSTON - Forty wide-eyed students from Otis Elementary School entered the Celtics practice facility Thursday afternoon in anticipation of meeting the team’s players and reading with them. The youth were on hand for a Read to Achieve event, presented by Kia in partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The program works with elementary schools in Boston to help promote literacy. Students who read 20 minutes a day, five days a week in the months of November, January and March receive a Celtics prize. Additionally, the program hosts reading events like the one at the practice facility.

As the students sat in the facility’s Hall of Fame room, they cheered when Celtics guard Keith Bogans and rookies Vitor Faverani and Kelly Olynyk entered the room. For the first time in the Read to Achieve history, the trio read a bilingual book, The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal written by Idries Shah.

“Vitor speaks three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English,” remarked Bogans. “Being able to fluently speak two languages is impressive enough, let alone three languages! It was nice to incorporate both Spanish and English into the reading event today because the kids from the Otis were bilingual as well.”

With Bogans sitting with the kids and showing them the images, Olynyk and Faverani began reading. Students also took turns reading the book alternating between the two languages. The students learned of a boy who visited a new town. While there he was surprised to learn that the townspeople considered something to be a dangerous animal simply because they had never seen it before. Through his own actions and knowledge, the boy helped the town overcome its fear.

Following the reading, the players spoke to the kids about the importance of reading and education.

“Reading is so important,” said Bogans. “Even when you’re done with school you still read every day. For example we read scouting reports on every team prior to us playing them.”

Olynyk then shared with the group where he went to college.

“I went to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington,” explained Olynyk. “That’s on the West Coast. I majored in business and accounting because math was always my favorite subject.”

Faverani expressed to the group that math definitely wasn’t his favorite subject.

Instead, Faverani said, “Me gusto historia!”

Before the students departed they got a chance to participate in relay races down on the Celtics court. The students were in awe of the original 17 World Championship banners hanging from the ceiling. It was safe to say they enjoyed every minute on the court.

“The kids were great today,” said Olynyk. “You could tell they like reading and it was fun to read the book in Spanish and English.”

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